Signs It’s Time to Get Help for OCD and Why a Psychiatrist Should Be Your First Call

Signs It’s Time to Get Help for OCD and Why a Psychiatrist Should Be Your First Call

You are late for work, again, because you had to run back to your house to make sure you turned something off. Maybe this has become a daily routine, and you find yourself double and triple-checking. Or, you are unable to go out and make new friends because of your fear of germs and contamination. These are just two examples of how obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can have a large impact on your life.

For the 2.5 million people in the United States who are affected by OCD, life often becomes centered around accommodating the mental health issue, sometimes to a degree where day-to-day function becomes less and less possible.

Here at our practice, board-certified psychiatrist Dr. Matthew Goldenberg understands how people can become prisoners to OCD, and his goal is to set you free again. With that in mind, here is a look at some warning flags that OCD has far too much control over your life and why you should seek Dr. Goldneberg’s help.

When OCD becomes the center of your life

As the name implies, there are often two sides to OCD: obsessions and compulsions. The “O” or obsession piece of the puzzle describes the internal thoughts and fears you have, which can be intrusive and can ruminate and dominate your thinking. The “C” or compulsion side of the equation is the outward behavior that’s designed to address or try to calm your obsessive thoughts.

Take the classic example of excessive and repetitive handwashing. You may have a heightened fear of germs and contamination. You have persistent, overwhelming, and obsessive thoughts that you are going to become sick or ill as a result of germs or disease. So, to appease these thoughts, you wash your hands. You wash them over and over to try to overcome the bothersome thoughts. You may also avoid touching any surface that you think might be dirty, and you become compulsive to ensure that your environment is always well sterilized.

This thought-behavior cycle can manifest in many ways — you might have deep-seated anxieties that are soothed by counting objects or lining them up. Perhaps you worry about your house burning down — excessively — and you repeatedly check your oven, coffee pot, and iron to make sure they are off, sometimes driving halfway across town several times to check. You may fear your loved ones are sick or have been injured and you call them repeatedly to check in and to seek reassurance all is okay. 

Some people with obsessive thoughts of OCD may not be compelled to certain behaviors, but they still have OCD because of the incessant, ruminating, and racing thoughts.

No matter how it manifests, if your OCD is likely negatively affecting your ability to function at your highest level. If you are routinely late to work, school, appointments, etc., because you’re running back to check your house, it has risen to a level that would benefit help. If you are avoiding social events or family affairs because of your OCD, there is help.. If you are not leaving the house because of OCD, you will likely benefit from a proper diagnosis and treatment. 

If your world is becoming increasingly small thanks to OCD, it is time to get help.

Breaking free from OCD

People who leave their OCD untreated often get worse, their world gets smaller and smaller and they unfortunately rarely get better on their own. OCD does not magically go away on its own, and you need an experienced mental health professional in your corner to gain control over the condition.

Dr. Goldenberg has helped many patients break free from their OCD and plug back into the world, whether their symptoms are mild, moderate or even severe. Through extensive psychotherapy and behavioral counseling, as well as medications, if warranted, Dr Goldenberg shows you a healthier path that is not dominated by OCD.

To get started, contact Dr. Goldenberg to set up a free, 10-minute phone consultation. He serves patients in California and Alaska and offers full telepsychiatry services. To schedule your consultation, simply click here.

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